Clean it Up Mondays: Chicken Avocado Salad

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All I want to do recently is make mayo. I love mayo. I used to go to Whole Foods on a regular basis and spend $11.99/pound for chicken salad until I found out that they put flour into their mayo. I don’t know if that’s a fact, but I looked up the recipe and found that ingredient. I was mad. Not really mad, but disappointed. I love their chicken salad and for it to have gluten in it, is a deal breaker. I’m breaking up with it. It’s over. We’re done. Forever. Probably not forever. I’ll eat it someday. But not today. Today, I make my own mayo. Which is AWESOME. Avocado oil should ALWAYS be used when making your own mayo. Fact.

So here are some things that happened by the time I got back from Mexico:

I forgot how to drive. For real. When you stop driving for 7 days, driving is awkward. I stopped using my blinker and cut everyone off. I acted like I was in Boston. Or New York. I’ve never been to New York, but that’s how I see it going down. No one is a nice driver.

I’ve had to shrink my stomach. So I’m always hungry. And grouchy. But in Mexico, I ate WHATEVER I wanted. Seriously, everything. I didn’t stop much. And I definitely didn’t stop for gluten. I welcomed it with open arms. Which I haven’t done in years. But I soaked up every moment of this vacation, so I’ve had to teach my stomach what normal portions are like. It sucks.

I’ve instagrammed at least 26 times. A day. Anything and everything. I hate Facebook, but damn, I love instagram. I was pumped to have it back once I got back into town.

I updated myself on the CrossFit Games Southwest Regional. I tend to wonder where I would be if I stuck with my training and was able to make it to Regionals again. After doing it 2 years in a row, I wonder where I would rank among those bad ass women. Probably low, but I still wonder.

I’ve watched sports. That’s weird. And won’t really happen again.

I’ve cleaned my room. Big step.  I was becoming a legit hoarder. Laura almost submitted an application for me to be on the show.

I drank beer. Meaning cider. It’s time to move on from them though. My love handles love beer a little too much.

I’m getting on the spinning class train. Starting TODAY. I’m kind of scared. Going somewhere new. Being the new kid on the block. Knowing nothing about anything I’m doing. All while hating every second of it. Should be interesting. But it’s ‘Clean it up Monday’ so that means more exercise and better food.

And I’ll be eating this for lunch today. DELISH. So clean it up. It’s Monday.

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Clean it Up Mondays: Chicken Avocado Salad Wraps

  • Yield: 3-4 1x
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Ingredients

For the chicken salad

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
  • 3 tablespoons fat of choice (I used duck fat)
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 avocado, skin removed, cubed
  • 12 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • 12 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 12 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the mayo

  • 2 egg yolks
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place chicken in a glass baking dish, pour some fat over each chicken breast, and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Put in preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Then place the chicken in the refrigerator to help cool for a refreshing chicken salad.
  4. Now for the mayo. Avocado oil is the best for this mayo. The flavor isn’t very overwhelming so you can taste all the other flavors in this dish. So this is how you make the mayo.
  5. In your food processor, add egg yolks and lemon and puree to combine. Once they are mixed well, turn food processor back on and begin to pour the avocado oil in VERY SLOWLY. I mean super slow. Tablespoon by tablespoon, dripping in there very slow. Did I say slow?
  6. As you mix in the avocado oil very slowly, it will begin to thicken and create a mayo consistency. Be patient. And add more oil as needed to help thicken it even more. Place mayo in a container and into the fridge to keep cool while you finish off the salad.
  7. Dice up the now cooled chicken into 1/2-1 inch cubes.
  8. To a large bowl, add the cooked and cooled chicken, cubed avocado, fresh herbs, all the mayo, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and pepper. Taste to see if it needs more of anything.
  9. Wrap the chicken salad in some butter lettuce leaves OR just eat it by itself. Whatever you want to do.

 PaleOMG Clean It Up Mondays: Chicken Avocado Salad

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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54 thoughts on “Clean it Up Mondays: Chicken Avocado Salad”

  1. I keep putting off buying avocado oil because it’s so expensive. I usually make my mayo with mac nut oil, but sometimes it’s too nutty. I have a love-hate relationship with it. haha.

    This looks epic though. And I just told my boyfriend that we need to buy avocado oil so that I can make this. Yum! Thanks (as usual).

  2. Dumb question – I’ve seen that some of your recipes use bacon fat and here is duck fat. I’m relatively new to this Paleo lifestyle, after frying bacon (or duck), do you save the fat for later use or is this something that you buy?

    I’ve always used olive oil for mayo and it takes patience, but it is so worth it!

    1. Yes, after I cook bacon or duck I save the drippings in a jelly jar in the fridge, and use them when I need a fat that can sustain a higher cooking temperature than olive or coconut oil.

    2. I buy duck fat on Amazon, the Rougie brand. You can usually find a great deal there! Just watch the shipping rates. Duck fat is THE BEST for roasting sweet potatoes and veggies.

  3. Holy cow! You could be telling MY life story right now! Just got back from Antigua a couple weeks ago and I ate everything! And drank Pina Coladas (at LEAST one) every day……YUM! But I swear my gut got bigger in just seven days……

  4. Just made it an, YUM! Just YUM! I was a little skeptical after trying just the mayo component, but when all combined together, it was a perfect complement of flavors! I put it on a paleo-friendly homemade flax meal focaccia and it was the perfect pairing! Thanks for your recipes and your sassy attitude!

  5. I’ve made paleo mayo a few times – about half the time I didn’t get the emulsion and it was a weird not mayo like at all consistency. THEN I read that the key is to use all room temp ingredients – especially the egg – but everything. Now that I do this the mayo always comes out super thick and creamy and awesome. Never used avacado oil though, mayhap I’ll try that.

  6. i was mayo obsessed when i first started paleo (when i was eating eggs). i think it took me crying like 5 times and not being able to make it myself that my mom made it for me PERFECTLY on the first try. she bought one of those hand blenders with the tall glass and that works great. i had been using a food processor or vitamix to make it and those just did not work for me at all.

    glad you had fun on vacation!!! it’s fun to let loose and just be normal. i hate being so strict all the time and would kill to just go to the grocery store bakery (not even a fancy bakery) and get a cookie sandwich with tons of frosting in the middle AND on top. that right there is the perfect meal for me.

  7. I can get my olive oil mayo to properly emulsify and it is great on day 1. But then it usually breaks the next day. Bring it to room temperature on day 2 and it just melts into a pool of oil. (Eat fast! The mayo is melting!). Any tips?

    1. I think using super fresh eggs is key. I try to use one that was layed the same day (I have my own chickens) and mine keeps in the fridge for really long amounts of time – probably longer than I should keep it around! =) I’ve always made mine with olive oil (not extra virgin – the flavor is too strong) but I’m planning to make some with walnut oil soon. Yum!

  8. Always made my mayo with olive oil and I just wasn’t jiving with the taste. Excited to try avocado oil. Thanks

  9. I’ve worked at Whole Foods (in the Denver area) for the past 6 years and I can guarantee you there’s no flour in our mayo 🙂 I actually make all the chicken salads on a regular basis, so I promise you you’re fine!

  10. This looks amazing, and I have been on such a mayo kick craving lately that I can’t wait to make it! Also a great recipe for the 21 day sugar detox I’m doing! Thanks 😉

  11. Juli! Youre the best- keep doing what youre doing, it is appreciated! Question- Im fairly new to paleo -about a year in- I read a lot about limiting omega 3’s and taking cod liver oil, choline, drinking bone broth, etc to help clear acne …Ive been following your own story with this issue- do you do any of these things and if so has it helped??? Thanks !

    1. i cut omega 3s and that helped some, cod live oil did nothing, but most of the acne is caused a ton by acne, which sucks because that’s hard to control

  12. I think it’s great that you’re going to do spinning! I’ve been an spinning instructor for over one and a half year by now and LOVE it 🙂

    Ironically I’m going to do CrossFit today for the first time in like forever. I tried it a couple of times some years back then stopped because I found spinning much more fun and didn’t had the physics. Now is the time! I’m gonna kick ass 🙂

    So you go do my sport and I’ll do yours – I’ll tell you how it goes if you tell me! 🙂

  13. New to making mayo- do you have to make a new batch every time you want some or can you make a batch and store in the fridge?

    1. How long homemade mayo is good for all depends on the eggs you used to make it – the expiration date of the mayo is the same as the expiration date of the eggs.

  14. Sorry if this has been said but have you made mayo with an immersion blender? I use to use the food processor until OH. MY. GOSH. I learned the immersion way. Look it up you will never go back to your old ways. I swear. I make and store in the same jar. (primally inspired has a recipe) Love your blog thanks for all the delish stuff and the fun!!

  15. I made mayo…..homemade! Thank you for the inspiration Julie! Can’t wait to eat this for dinner. And I love the clean it up Mondays…cause I can’t be bothered with perfection. Now I can get back on track.

  16. One thing I do to get the mayo to emulsify properly without being super vigilant on the drizzle of oil is if you have a legit brand Cuisinart (don’t know if other brands of food processor have it, but people can look if they have another brand) on the white plunger thingy that goes down into the food shoot to help push food down, there is a very small hole. I pour my oil into the white plunger thingy (since it’s hollow) and let the Cuisinart do the work of drizzling and emulsifying for me. Works like a charm! Wish I could take credit for this, but I read it somewhere. Wish I could remember where, but I can’t. All I know is it works. Oh, and room temp ingredients make a difference too.

  17. As someone who was raised by a New Yorker and currently lives in Boston I will have you know that New Yorkers are WAY worse drivers. In Boston we at least signal before cutting you off in an attempt to get across three lanes of traffic to reach our exit. In a side note I am now off to go hunting the elusive avacado oil because I love chicken salad and now must have this.

  18. I love how instruction #4 is more of an opinion or feeling you have about the relationship with the mayo than an actual instruction at all! I adore you. You remind me of me, only prettier, more popular and with abs. Don’t ever stop blogging or shoving things in your face juli. Your just so good at what you do!

  19. My plan is to make this with leftover chicken. It will be a fab salad to take to work with me or have in the fridge for a quick lunch.

    I’m new to the paleo way of eating, so am glad to have found you on instagram.

  20. Just made this chicken salad and it is DELISH!! Made the aioli yesterday too and it was sooo good that I topped my steak with it tonight 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog and I love, love, love it! Keep it up!

  21. Was at Whole Foods the other day and asked about flour in the mayo. I was told they do not use any flour in their mayo/chicken and tuna salad. If there was any, they are required to list it in the ingredients on the card in the food case and it would say contains gluten, etc. So girl, you go get that chx salad!

  22. Thank you Juli for all the wonderful recipes. I am in week 5 of my paleo/ cross fit journey and can honestly say I’d have been lost without you! Let me add that this chicken salad recipe is the best chicken salad I’ve ever had!

  23. I am going to attempt to make this tonight. However, I do not have duck fat, avocado oil, or tarragon. I looked all over the grocery store and couldn’t find them. Any suggestions for substitutes? Thanks!

    1. any dried herb will do, no biggie if it’s not tarragon. just use a different kind of fat such as bacon fat. and evoo for the mayo will work just fine!

  24. Really wishing I read this BEFORE going to the store. Guess it’ll just go in the reserves for now. Just wanted to comment though, I super heart making mayo! So easy and so few ingredients unlike the back of a jar. Blech. My next adventure will be bacon-aise. Have you tried making mayo using some bacon fat? Mmmm bacon. And avocados… Lunch time!

  25. Question! I have some left over mayo from another recipe that I need to use, so I’d like to try this out. Can you tell me about how much mayo your recipe makes, so I know if I have enough? Thanks, girl! 🙂

  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! It’s become a weekly staple that I always look forward to.

  27. Holy. Crap. This was my first ever thing I made from this website, and also my first ever meal with the intention of eating paleo. (Yes, I am a little new to this). Naturally I made some mistakes/atlerations: the “mayo” was liquid dressing, the price of avocado oil sent me into shock for about 30 minutes so I used olive oil etc. And yet, this salad was awesome. I swear my tastebuds had multiple tastegasms. Maybe this Paleo thing won’t be so bad 🙂

  28. I did it! I successfully made paleo mayo! I practiced on the Asian Chicken Salad and didnt do so well, but I got it! This is SO refreshing and delicious. I actually eat all my food that I make with these recipes. Sometimes when I make paleo meals, I have to actually put some in my mouth and drink water to get it down. Yuck. These recipes are amazing!

    Those of you having difficulty with mayo and do not have the immersion blender:

    I dont have one either, so I got a little creative. I have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, so I put on the whisk attachment and follow her instructions on adding the ingredients. I turn the mixer on high with the whisk for about 5-7 minutes and *viola” it gets thick. Those of you who are having issues, this may help.

    Happy Cooking!

  29. How long will the lemon juice keep the avocado from going brown? I want to make the avocado and cilantro chicken salad in your book and I’m wondering if I can make the whole four portions to last me me for four days. Thanks 🙂

  30. Hey Juli, Thanks so much for all of your yummy recipes and all of the entertainment on SnapChat and Instagram. You seriously have the best feeds. 🙂 Would you mind sharing which food processor do you use?

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